Changeover’s Dilemma

Changeover’s Dilemma was a project undertaken between students in my Avant-Garde Museum Education course taught at Pratt Institute—offered through the Department of Art and Design Education—and the Guggenheim Museum’s Education Department, specifically with Rachel Ropeik, the Manager of Public Engagement at the museum.

This project, in tune with the class’s other assignments—which focused on bringing about innovative projects to museums—spawned the creation of the Museum Innovation Collective, which in turn chronicled the process of research and thinking around Changeover.

Changeover’s Dilemma seeks to create material and programming during the period when a significant portion of the museum is going through a re-installation due to the ‘changeover’—the period of time between the closing of one major exhibition and the opening of another.

I, along with Rebecca Armstrong, Patricia Kaiser, Brittany Sauta, Carley Snack, and Shina Yoon, worked collaboratively with Rachel Ropeik, Manager of Public Engagement at the Guggenheim, explored possibilities of educational programming for the changeover period. By the end of February 2016, the process had already involved several visits to the Guggenheim, field work, discussions and debates, along with research into the public offerings of the museum.

Further visits with Rachel Ropeik to better understand the Guggenheim perspective allowed the group to re-visit certain concepts, given the challenges of implementation. We synthesized project ideas, prioritized certain initiatives and collectively chose the threads we would explore and pursue.

The collective decided to focus on:

  1. A Changeover pamphlet or ‘Education Card’ ( that could be applicable to all changeovers, independent of the shows preceding or following any one Changeover—an ‘evergreen card’;
  2. New gallery learning experiences (GLExes) that would then be revised by Guggenheim educators and delivered during Changeover;
  3. A social media platform (on Facebook) that would serve as an alternative space to both chronicle the process of the group’s thinking about Changeover, and also provide thoughts and reflections on the potential of Changeover as a whole.

The gallery learning experiences were explored further with the Guggenheim’s educators in April 2016.

Our work was also featured in the second volume of Museum Futures.

And on Rachel Ropeik’s site: